Shireen’s Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

What:

An early weekend dinner at “The Foundry” in Pompano Beach. Yes, I left the 305 on a Sunday night and it was totally worth it.

Why:

My new shabby chic couch and “Game Of Thrones” (season 7) are my latest obsessions, so, why in the world would I leave the 305 on a Sunday night to do Spotlight?

“The Foundry” — that’s why.

I heard about the restaurant about a year ago from friends, Deco Drive fans and some die-hard South Florida foodies, but “wanting” to spend time in Pompano Beach and actually “doing it” are two different things.

Finally, after a well planned-out weekend and an online GoT’s leak, I was ready to head north. I know what you’re thinking and NO, I didn’t watch the leaked version (although I thought about it); I flexed my on-demand finger muscles instead.

“The Foundry” (which is set up as an ode to a metal factory) is a big, beautiful open-air restaurant with dark wood, moody lighting and modern art. It reminds me of some of my favorite places in Chicago, where it’s not just about what you’re eating, it’s about how you feel, too. It’s friendly and inviting, flanked by a long bar that reaches its way into a front outdoor patio. There’s a cool raw bar in the back and in-between is the dining area.

I started my Spotlight experience with a strong & savory “Cucumber Martini” (made with gin) & an ice-cold “Hibiscus Mule” (a new twist on an old favorite) made with vodka, hibiscus-infused syrup, lime juice and fever tree ginger beer. If I was a dead man walking, a martini would definitely be my go-to, but this mule is mind-changing.

If you love fresh, healthy and delicious, my first appetizer, “The Sushi Stack”, is an absolute must-try. I could live off this layered pile of love for the rest of my natural born life. Tuna, salmon, avocado and cucumber are perfectly placed atop seasoned sushi rice. The icing on the cake, so to speak, is kimchi mayo and tempura crunchies. It’s big enough to share, although I’d rather have it all to myself. From the raw bar, I tried the “Tasting for 2” (with oysters, shrimp and ceviche.) It was extremely fresh and I liked the tartness of the ceviche.

If you’re not a seafood lover, try the “House-Made Classic Polpette” — one can never go wrong with a tangy meatball (made with crispy polenta, pomodoro sauce, ricotta and basil.) Mama Mia! These bite-sized beauties were a party in my mouth. Truth be told, I wanted more, but a girl has to pace herself when working on her beloved food blog and watching her waistline.

Transitioning into dinner meant changing up our drinks, too. Enhancing the flavor of “Shrimp & Grits” was easy with a Reisling by North by Northwest (from Horse Heaven Hills, Washington.) It was dry and slightly fruity.

Back to those “Shrimp & Grits” that were totally to-die-for…(made with shrimp, sausage, peppers, onions, garlic mixed in a spicy creole sauce, alongside stone ground grits and crispy collard greens). I spent part of my teen years in the south and I’m a real snob when it comes to grits, but these are the real deal.

The 12 oz succulent “Grilled Pork Chop” was my favorite of the night, made with maple glaze and served with butternut squash puree and miso-glazed brussel sprouts. The chop was so tender, I could cut it with a butter knife. #ComeToMama #GetInMyBelly I could go on with the hashtags, but you get the idea.

Last but not least, the “Short Rib Entree”, my photographer’s favorite, was made with faro and wild mushroom ragout and served with shaved veggies. It was paired with an incredible red blend called Forward Kidd (from Napa Valley). I’m a total convert. I need to get a box of the stuff for my house. Nothing like cracking open a great bottle of wine on the weekend.

I tasted two terrific desserts: “Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake” & “Coffee & Doughnuts” — all the sweets are homemade; heck, practically everything is. I’m a sucker for a good cheesecake (I have it every year on my birthday,) but along side the doughnuts, served in a mug is something called: “espresso pot de creme.”

I call it crack in a coffee cup. It’s amazingly decadent and sinfully delicious. If you have a sweet tooth, this will nail you to the wall and you won’t even scream for a great escape.

I can’t say enough about the food at “The Foundry”. It’s amazing, but what I truly fell in love with was the people. Everyone I came in contact with really believes in the restaurant. Our server, Zach, was excellent and NICE. Chef Shari knows her food and she’s passionate about what she does (not to mention wickedly talented) and GM Rick Hamilton is knowledgeable and smart, but not in a way that makes you feel like you should know more about food and what goes in it.

Sure, “The Foundry” is a destination, especially if you live in or around Miami, but it’s also a bonafide experience that won’t disappoint and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

When:

Lunch/Brunch
Monday-Saturday: 11:30am-3pm
Sunday Brunch: 11am-3pm

Dinner
Sunday-Thursday: 4pm-10pm
Friday-Saturday: 4pm-11pm

Where:

The Foundry
2781 E. Atlantic Blvd.
Pompano Beach, FL. 33062

(754) 205-6977

www.thefoundryfl.com

Be Social:
FB: The Foundry FL
Twitter: @TheFoundryFL
Instagram: @thefoundryfl

The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.Richard M. Nixon
James Woodley Photography
Producer/Styling: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe: www.bebe.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Forward, Kid” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

What:

An early Sunday evening dinner in the courtyard garden of Louie Bossi on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Why:

The energy inside “Louie Bossi” is infectious, the crowd vibrant and the food fantastic. The sprawling dining area, which is flanked by an open-air kitchen, gives way to a warmly-lit bar, but it’s what’s in back of the restaurant that’s truly special…

With shabby/chic decor, iron rod trimmings and ivy-drenched walls, the covered patio garden has the charm of an Italian piazza with a hint of South Florida flair. That’s where I decided to enjoy my Spotlight experience.

I started with three adult beverages: Pineapple Martini, Aperol Spritz and Bossi Beer.

The martini started sweet (with infused pineapple vodka,) but ended spicy, thanks to well-placed oil chili drops. The spritzer (said in my best Long Island accent) was smooth and refreshing with Prosecco, club soda and Aperol (which is a sweet Italian aperitif.) I also tried a glass of the light and fruity Birra Di Bossi (a basil-orange pilsner.) Hmmm…I love me a good light beer and live for a great martini, but it’s the spritzer I was gaga for — nothing like some icy goodness on a hot summer day.

Warm homemade bread, smelling divine, arrived at the table. It was so soft and good-looking, I think I was actually flirting with it. 😗

Almost everything at “Louie Bossi” is made from scratch; you can totally tell by how each delicious carb melts in your mouth (to think this started as a fashion blog!) There’s nothing like homemade bread and pasta — sorry Prada, you got nada… on this.

As of late, foodies in South Florida can’t get enough of the octopus trend and doing Spotlight means I’ve had it “every which way but loose.” That being said, “Louie Bossi’s” Spanish version, served with fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes, is as good as it gets. It’s grilled to perfection, with hints of wood-burning yumminess. I’m told it’s a customer favorite and I can see why.

Talk about impressive: our curated Charcuterie Board was off the charts. Not only was it awe-inspiring to look at, but mixing and matching the cheese, meats and other goodies was a taste bud awakening.

Here’s a list of some of our samplings: three different kinds of salami, Di Parma, Burrata, Pecorino, Robiola, Fontina Vale D’ Astota, figs, almonds, bread sticks and a mix of pickled red peppers, paprika peppers and corn flakes.

I tried two main entrees — the tender and flaky Grilled Bronzino (made with with parsley, chilies and capers.) It came with a side of mind-blowing cauliflower. As a writer, I’ve never used “mind-blowing” and “cauliflower” in the same sentence, but I’m not even joking. It’s crazy good, mixed in some secret pesto sauce.

If you prefer something meatier, try the Ribeye. I got the 24 ounce “sliced for two” (cooked medium.) It came with a side of Cacio E Pepe. Oh, pasta Gods, why do you do this to me? Of course, if you know me, steak and spaghetti are my two favorite foods on earth. So, I was pretty much in hog heaven. I’d be lying if I didn’t go on and on about the pasta. Tossed with pecorino Romano and cracked pepper, it’s love in a bowl. Simple and delicious (served in a heated dish.)

I started screaming: “It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!” when dessert showed up. Technically, it’s not until next month, but with its celebratory nature, I couldn’t help myself. LOL. 😍

The gigantic plate was jammed-packed with Italian classics: Cannoli with pistachio, Tiramisu, Gelato, Budino Cioccolata (which is like custard or pudding,) cookies and, last but not least, cheesecake with a sparkler to boot. Holy sweets, Batman! The cheesecake was another level of fabulousness. I washed it all down with a Fumoso (a smoky Limoncello made with dry ice.)

When you’re a foodie, falling for “Louie Bossi” is pretty easy: it’s got it all. What I like most is the QUALITY. It’s first class and when you work hard for your money, it feels good spending it on something that’s WORTH IT and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

When:

Monday-Thursday 11:30am-1am
Friday & Saturday 11:30am-2pm
Sunday 10am-1am

Where:

Louie Bossi
1032 E Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale 33301

Be Social:
FB: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria
IG: @louiebossi
Twitter: @LouieBossi

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.Julia Child
James Woodley Photography
Producer/Styling: Jackie Kay
Body Suit: Lilac & Lilies Boutique, Skirt: Hollen & Jen Vintage,
Necklace: BCGB South Beach, Purse: Koko & Palenki Aventura
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Shabby/chic” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

What:

An early weekend dinner at one of the newest seafood hot spots in Fort Lauderdale: NAKED CRAB.

Why:

If you’re a South Florida foodie, then you definitely know about Chef Ralph Pagano.

Not only is he crazy-good at what he does (case in point, the popular and always crowded “Naked Taco” on Miami Beach,) he also has a personality fit for the movies. With the intensity of “The Godfather” mixed with the humor of “My Cousin Vinny”, he’s a complete joy to be around.

The guy has more one-liners than Chris Rock doing stand-up on an HBO special. He also radiates the kind of warmth typically found in a true New Yorker — interested and interesting. Not that I’m gushing or anything.

If you don’t know about him…

After cooking on TV with the lot of them (including Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay), he built his own local food empire. With his solid reputation and extensive restaurant knowledge, he just keeps getting better and better.

His latest baby, NAKED CRAB, on Fort Lauderdale’s famed Seabreeze Boulevard, is a direct reflection of his continued success…

The restaurant, which is located inside “B Ocean Resort”, is light and airy but at the same time, hip and moody; with edgy chalk art on the inside and sexy colorful murals on the outside. If Fort Lauderdale and Miami had a baby, it would be NAKED CRAB; all of its good parts, anyway.

I started my spotlight experience with some light and salty “Shrimp Chips” and washed them down with a “Red Dragon Spritz” (which has some complicated ingredients). The most important part, though, is the Satsuma Shiranami Sweet Potato Shocu A.K.A sweet sake (add in some cointreau, Thai Chili Hibiscus simple syrup, lemon juice and Prosecco) and you’ve got yourself one helluva drink.

At least until your “Bangkok Slushy” arrives (made with tequila, cointreau, mango, tamarind and lime juice). You’ll feel like a giddy kid when you’re sucking it through its big straw. Just make sure you’re not overzealous: brain freeze is still a real thing and so are drinks that “sneak up on you.”

My favorite adult beverage of the day was the sophisticated “Geisha Martini” (made with Kettle One Citron Vodka, Awa No Kaori Rice Sochu, jasmine green tea simple syrup, lemon juice and fee brothers grapefruit bitters). Everyone at the table tried guessing its ingredients, but failed. We did, however, succeed in polishing it off. If you like the unique and unusual, this drink’s for you.

When our “Tuna Nachos” arrived, I was a little surprised, because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Instead of tons of food piled on a plate (which is the usual nacho experience), it was polished and pristine (made with jalapeño soy glaze, crispy wonton and wasabi aioli). It was EXCELLENT. This is a must-try on the menu. I also enjoyed…

The “Lobster Knuckle Sandwich” which was generously stuffed with chunky Maine Lobster Salad. This is perfect for the person who likes bread with their seafood. It comes with a side of chips, too.

AND (drumroll please)…

Talk about getting the royal treatment!!! The “Royale” was rolled out…

Served with half dozen oysters and clams and 4 JUMBO SHRIMP, I thought I’d died and gone to seafood heaven. I’m not kidding when I say the shrimps were as big as my head.

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but “Holy Seafood, Batman!” They were impressive, to say the least. I doused them in hot sauce and fresh horseradish and gobbled them up like a dead man walking. #GetInMyBelly

If you love the Florida Keys, then “A Key Party” is a creatively cool dish you’d enjoy. With a pound of large stone crabs, cracked conch and crab-topped snapper, it screams “dazzling tropical get-a-way.”

Last but not least, “The World Famous Crabster” was presented and it was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Looking back at it, I think it needed a marching band grand entrance or something 🙃…

I’ve never said a crab was beautiful, but there’s a first time for everything. “The Crabster” is a “beautiful” 5 pound Alaskan King Crab heartily stuffed with shrimp, crab and lobster (served in a beurre blanc).

Honestly, it was so ridiculously good, I don’t think my usual flowery adjectives could do it justice. It’s definitely a rich and decadent celebration of seafood. I thoroughly enjoyed it and don’t think I’ll ever eat anything as over-the-top again (until I go back next week 😁).

After a second round of the “Bangkok Slushy” — we got an unforgettable fire show at our table, while our cheeky server flaunted his “Bananas Foster”-making skills. He topped the dessert off with heath bar, M-&-M’s, coconut and Oreo’s. You don’t have to have all the toppings, but we told him: “treat us right”…lol. As if?!!

Well, there’s no doubt about it, I’m a huge fan of Chef Ralph and “NAKED CRAB” is a seafood lover’s dream. It serves a good steak, too. You know, if you’re more of a meat and potatoes kind of person or if you long for the “Surf & Turf” thing.

At “NAKED CRAB”, you’ll not only enjoy the great atmosphere, you’ll dine on extremely fresh seafood and sip on yummy creative cocktails and if you’re really lucky, Chef Ralph will tell you a joke or two, and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Thing’s. Cheers!

Where:

Naked Crab at B Ocean Resort
1140 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33316

When:

Monday-Sunday 7am-11pm

Be Social:
FB: Naked Crab @ncrabfl
IG: @nakedcrabftl

Make a reservation:
954-727-7090

www.nakedcrabfl.com

The crab that walks too far falls into the pot.Haitian Proverb
James Woodley Photography
Producing & Styling: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe: www.laboudoirmiami.com IG: @laboudoirmiami
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “The Naked Editor” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

Shireen’s Spotlight: B Square Burgers + Booze

What:

Friday night at the hottest new place on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale for some Burgers + Booze.

Why:

I showed up at “B Square Burgers + Booze” late on a Friday night; per usual, Miami traffic had gotten the best of me, but as I made my way down Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, the warmly lit “ready for the holidays” avenue eased my nerves and my stress started to dissipate.

My first glimpse of the place was from the car window. Really, I couldn’t miss it because of the sea of people surrounding the restaurant. The bustling bar easily overflowed onto the front patio and wrapped its way around the west side of the building.

As I made my way through the crowd, everyone seemed to be in good spirits; it was the beginning of the weekend, after all. BSQ’d (for short) isn’t just a gourmet burger bar, it also prides itself on serving contemporary American Cuisine, which means eating healthy or sophisticated is just as easy as devouring the decadent.

The decor is a mix of “industrial chic meets modern sensibility” and its laid-back vibe is paired with positive energy. I especially liked some of their catchy sayings written on one of their mirrored walls: “B-Original,” “B-Positive,” “B-Humble” and “B-Inspired” (just to name a few.)

After sitting down in a big, comfy booth, I started Spotlight with the Vegas Martini and Cucumber Gimlet. Holy poor, Batman! Both drinks were strong and tasty. The Vegas (made with Ciroc Peach Vodka, Beet & Ginger infused simple syrup and fresh lemon juice,) reminded me of the kind of cocktail Cookie Lyon would drink from the hit FOX-TV show, “Empire.”

(Camera fades into a shot of music mogul, Cookie Lyon, wearing a Roberto Cavalli suit, sitting at her gold-adorned, Donald Trump-like desk, elegantly sipping on her “Vegas Martini” while signing a multi-million dollar recording deal. The rich, red color of the drink matches her burgundy lips, which happened to be slathered in the latest YSL must-have lip color. After a gentle sip, she smiles coyly and slowly licks the drink’s sugary rim, knowing she’s about to make music history. Fade to black.)

The Cucumber Gimlet, on the other hand, is more like, say, something a jaded entertainment reporter would drink. While she loves her job, she constantly has to “work it like the rent is due” to keep up with the burning demands of her career. At the end of a long day, she doesn’t take the easy way out (a glass of Chardonnay,) she opts for a “Cucumber Gimlet” (made with Nolet’s Gin, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and cucumber.) Because even though it’s strong enough for a man, it’s made for a woman, too.

After a bit of daydreaming — okay a lot — two appetizers arrived: Szechuan-Style Shrimp & Calamari and Tommy’s Turkey Meatballs. Both plates were food-generous and I’m pretty sure the secret is in the sauce. The marinara on the meatballs was excellent and the Szechuan sauce was good enough to drink.

For my main course, I decided to go for a burger (when in Rome.) You can either fill out a nifty, make-it your-own-way burger sheet, or go for one of the many amazing suggestions on the menu. Since I’m a ranch girl from New Mexico, I went with the “Tex-Mex” (made with roasted poblano peppers, bacon, pepper jack cheese and green chili sauce.)

Instead of being traditional, I went with a side of sweet potato fries. They definitely nailed the green chili taste and the fries were ridiculously good. I can’t wait to go back and try more burgers! The menu features a creative variety: Nacho Mama, Ahi Tuna, McDuck, I Don’t Eat Meat and Short Rib, to name a few.

For dessert, it was double the pleasure with “Johnnie’s Apple Tart” served with vanilla gelato and my absolute favorite thing of the night, the “Strawberry Shortcake Matcha Boozy Shake.” The ingredients are a restaurant secret, but it tasted like I was actually drinking a strawberry shortcake spiked with vodka! For the record, I couldn’t really taste the alcohol, but the bartender assured me it was in there. If you’re not a drinker, you can get a virgin shake, too.

From the lively atmosphere, creative cocktails and mouth-watering burgers, B Square Burgers + Booze is one of my new favorite hang-out’s. I’ll meet you there, say, Friday night? Cheers!

Where:

1021 E. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

When:

Monday – Sunday 11:30am – 12am. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday 4pm – 7pm. Weekend Bruch is 10am – 3pm.

www.bsquareburger.com
IG: @bsquareburgers
Twitter: @BSquareBurgers
FB: B Square Burgers + Booze

She was starting to feel a little like a hamburger at a dieters’ convention. Nobody was likely to snack on her, but absolutely everybody noticed she was edible.Rachel Caine
James Woodley Photography
Produced by Jackie Kay
Styling: Elyze Held / wardrobe provided by stylemafia.us
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Matcha” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

Shireen’s Spotlight: Perricone’s Market Place & Cafe

What:

Celebrating 20 years of great Italian food at Perricone’s downtown Miami.

Why:

When I first moved to Miami over a decade ago (as a young whippersnapper entertainment reporter,) Perricone’s was one of the first places I went with my co-workers from Deco Drive. Just like most new converts to the Magic City, I fell madly in love; the pasta was yummy and the ambiance was an intriguing mix of “garden oasis meets classic New York City steak house:” dark wood, twinkling lights and a bustling bar.

Mind you, it was all smack-dab in the middle of skyscraper central — downtown Miami. It was, and still is, paradise in the heart of a concrete jungle; more specifically, Brickell. Fast forward to 2016 and the eatery is celebrating 20 years of mouth-watering business. When I first heard about Perricone’s big birthday, two things came to mind: WOW, am I getting old; and I’ve gotta feature them on Spotlight. I’ve often wondered…

HOW in the world they’ve kept a great thing going for so long? Not only is Perricone’s a South Florida institution, they’ve also managed to grow and evolve without changing the original “je ne sais quoi” that’s made them so famous. Not an easy task in a town where restaurants come and go faster than the ebb and flow of tourists.

Since my very first visit all those years ago, a lot has changed. They’ve added a Market Place where you can shop for authentic, hand-crafted Italian delicacies: meats, cheeses, desserts, breads and wine. If you live downtown, I’m sure you know about it. They’ve also expanded their outdoor dining area, making the most of their lush, tropical landscape with a large open-air tent (that connects to the main dining room.) It easily transforms into an air-conditioned haven or an outdoor, cool weather hot spot.

That’s where I dined last Friday night on a beautiful Miami evening. I started Spotlight with three yummy drinks: “Sour Apple Martini,” “Classic Mojito” and “Frozen Moscow Mule.” All three drinks were yummy, but the Moscow Mule, which I’m told is a customer favorite, was smooth, well-blended and deliciously strong (made using a Kelvin Slush Machine.)

After drinking up the majority of my adult slushy, two appetizers arrived: “Baked Brie en Croute” and “Mussels Steamed in White Wine.” The brie (which is a whole baked brie wrapped in a crispy puff pastry, drizzled with warm apricot glaze and served with fresh fruit and crackers,) was spectacular and the mussels were just as delicious; light and succulent.

For dinner, I tried a little bit of everything, starting with the scrumptious “Grandma Jennie’s Classic Meatballs” with their signature Pomodoro Sauce and the “Catch of the Day,” which happened to be an amazing “Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Bronzino.” While I love meat and fish, my absolute true love is pasta. I could eat it every natural-born day of my life. With that being said…

I tried the “Penne with Grilled Chicken” (with olives, sun dried tomatoes, basil and feta). I especially loved the fact that it’s served in a garlic/extra virgin olive oil. Even though pasta can be hearty, it doesn’t have to taste or leave you feeling that way and this dish is the perfect example. My favorite pasta and dish (for that matter) of the evening was “Fiocchi Gorgonzola” (purse-shaped pasta stuffed with fresh pear and four cheeses, served with a walnut Gorgonzola sauce.) It was absolutely to-die-for. It’s on the rich side, but you won’t regret it if you try it.

For dessert, I savored Perricone’s signature “Chocolate House Cake” (made with rich, bittersweet chocolate mousse and chocolate cake, drizzled with white chocolate hazelnut crunch, with chocolate ganache frosting.) This is the perfect plate to share, but there are so many good desserts to choose from, I’d order a couple and play a game of round-robin tasting.

Besides all the usual favorites on the menu, Perricone’s isn’t afraid of stretching its food muscle, too; always coming up with the new and exciting. That’s one of the many reasons I love eating there. The incredible service, inviting environment and warm energy is top notch and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.

When:

Dinner Hours are Sunday – Thursday 4pm-11pm, Friday & Saturday 4pm-11:30pm.
(for Market, Lunch and Brunch hours check-out www.perricones.com).

Where:

Brickell 15 SE 10th Street, Miami, Florida 33131. Your best bet is to use their valet. It’s fast and efficient and parking downtown can be pretty difficult these days or better yet, cab or uber it.

IG: @perricones, Twitter: @perricones, FB: Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe

Life is a combination of magic and pasta.Federico Fellini
James Woodley Photography
wardrobe: www.anntaylor.com
Hair: Odett Hernandez, Make-Up; Javier Lucero
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Je ne sais quoi” Auerbach